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the Deity, Popery, Rules for Moderating Our Anger, Reflections on Sun Set, Character of a Truly Polite Man, The Child Trained Up for the Gallows. These and the rest of their kind were all " extracted from the works of the most correct and elegant writers." The books were also pretty sure to contain selections from the Bible, and some had parts of sermons. Indeed, nearly all the matter was of a serious, moral, or religious character.
From the American Preceptor I quote a portion of
A Dialogue between two School Boys, on Dancing.
Harry. Tom, when are you going to begin your dancing ? You will be fo old in a fhort time as to be afhamed to be feen taking your five pofitions.
Thomas. I don't know as I fhall begin at all. Father fays he don't care a fig whether I learn to jump any better than I do now; and, as I am to be a tradefman, he is determined to keep me at the reading and writing fchools.
Har. That muft be very dull and dry for you. And what good will all fuch learning do you, fo long as you make the awkward appearance you do at prefent ? I am furprifed at your father's folly. So becaufe you are to be a tradefman, you are not to learn the graces !
Thus they go on, Thomas representing wisdom and Harry folly, and though neither convinces the other, they make it very plain where the reader's sympathies ought to be.
Another very successful book of Bingham's, published about a dozen years later than his Preceptor, was The Columbian Orator, a compilation of dialogues and pieces suitable for declamation. Perhaps